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Updated: June 26, 2024

The enticing rhythms of taiko drums and dancing, nights under soft lantern light, the scent of BBQ—summer in Tokyo is unforgettable

Summer in Tokyo tends to be hot and humid, but it’s a great time to visit and experience the city like a local. Enjoy traditional festivals and fireworks, try shaved ice, hit the beach, join friends for drinks at a rooftop beer garden, stroll the shady parks or chill out in the city’s excellent museums, indoor experiences and department stores.


  • Keep hydrated and avoid the sun in the middle of the day and plan activities for the early morning or late afternoon
  • A light jacket, cardigan or shawl is useful in chilly trains and stores
  • To keep cool, pick up a traditional Japanese fan such as an uchiwa or sensu. You can buy one at a souvenir shop, but they're often given out for free near stations and stores

Fun in the sun

You can sense the excitement as the weather heats up in Tokyo: schools and universities have long holidays in August, and it’s the perfect time for swimming, camping and hiking, as many escape to the beach or the mountains. If you want to escape from the city and enjoy nature, check out our recommendations for Top Hikes in Tokyo.

Tokyo has waterfront areas and pools where you can enjoy some cool summer fun. Many of the major hotels also open their pools to the public for night swimming, for fee. If you're looking to cool off, check out our Waterfront Guides and Beach & Pool pages.

Yomiuriland's Pool WAI
Hotel New Otani Tokyo


Spectacular festivals and fireworks

On any given night through July and August, you can hear the taiko drums in every neighborhood, calling locals to celebrate summer and honor their ancestors with Bon dancing, snacks and games. Shrines are adorned with paper lanterns and people dress in colorful cotton yukata.

Lanterns along Kagurazaka-dori Street

Don’t miss Tanabata, the star festival in Asakusa (early July), Yasukuni Shrine’s Mitama Matsuri (mid July) and Koenji’s raucous Awa Odori Festival (late August). Of course, summer means fireworks. Dress up in yukata and make your way to the river as the songs of cicadas compete with the colorful explosions in the sky. The biggest is Sumida River Fireworks Festival (the last Saturday in July), but there are many smaller ones too.

Harajuku Omotesando Genki Matsuri
Itabashi fireworks


Seasonal delights

Japan embraces the changing seasons, and summer brings unique flavors and seasonal treats. Summer festivals mean food stalls proffering Japanese junk food favorites yakisoba and okonomiyaki, chocolate covered bananas and grilled corn. Cool down with cold salted cucumbers or slices of watermelon. Sweets and drinks in convenience stores include tropical fruits and many flavors of soda. Try shaved ice (kakigori) in traditional flavors like matcha and red bean. Cold noodles are refreshing and often flavored with summer citrus fruits like sudachi. At night, office workers meet up to sip under the stars, at one of the many beer gardens held in major parks or on department store rooftops. Most offer all-you-can eat and drink packages.

Somen noodles flavored with sudachi citrus
Kakigori shaved ice


Hit the beach

While you won’t find good surf in Tokyo, there are places to swim, paddle and relax. One of the closest beaches is right in Tokyo Bay, at Odaiba. While you can’t actually swim at Odaiba Beach (the bay’s water quality might not be the best), you can stroll while enjoying the beautiful scenery or enjoy a variety of water sports. Kasai Marine Park, located at the end of Kasai Rinkai Park, allows you to swim in seawater at certain times of the year. The park also has BBQ facilities. While most keen swimmers head to the coasts of Chiba or Kanagawa, you can find amazing beaches on Tokyo’s islands.

Odaiba Seaside Park

Tokyo is home to islands of such natural beauty that it's hard to believe they're part of Tokyo. Some of them can be reached within 3 hours by high-speed ferries. Oshima is one of the closest. Niijima is famous for its white sand beaches and ferry services are available between nearby Shikinejima where you can enjoy hot springs. If you have plenty of time, take the 24 hour ferry trip out to Ogasawara, for a real getaway. The islands offer swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, hot springs, camping and rustic hotels.

Niijima Island

Waterfront BBQ

For an event making the most of summer, we recommend enjoying a BBQ with friends and family. Tokyo offers various BBQ spots, but our top recommendation goes to waterfront BBQ featuring a pleasant breeze and beautiful scenery. From bayside areas in the heart of the city to the rich natural scenery of Okutama, you can choose just the right location for you.

Events in June

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Events in July

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Events in August

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More Summer Fun


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